From Comcast SportsNetHARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) -- Penn State has agreed to provide millions in payments and benefits to Joe Paterno's estate and family members under the late football coach's employment contract, although a family lawyer says the Paternos did not sign away their right to sue.The school turned over four checks Thursday worth more than 3 million for bonuses that covered the season, bowl game and entire career, according to a university spokeswoman.A breakdown provided by Penn State included the use by Paterno's family of a Beaver Stadium suite for 25 years and 900,000 from television and radio revenue from last season. Half the broadcast revenues were paid in February, and the rest will be paid later this year, the school said.Paterno family lawyer Wick Sollers issued a statement Thursday saying there has been no settlement but rather "a straightforward payment of moneys indisputably owed to the Paterno estate. The university had requested that the family agree to a full release in return for the payments under the contract. That request was declined and no release was signed."Without a release, Paterno's estate could still sue under the contract or some other reason, if it wishes.School spokesman Bill Mahon described it as the university and Paterno's estate finalizing the remaining payments that were due to the longtime coach, who was fired in November in the wake of former assistant Jerry Sandusky's arrest on child sexual abuse charges.Paterno died of lung cancer in January at age 85.The university also said it would pay the coach's widow, Sue Paterno, 1,000 a month for life, and provide her with on-campus parking and access to university hydrotherapy equipment.Other elements of the package include a final paycheck of 34,000, a death benefit of 51,000 and 350,000 -- payable over five years -- under a 1986 consulting agreement. The university also agreed to forgive 350,000 in outstanding loans and debt. No explanation was provided regarding Paterno's debts to the school.While the school said in a news release that the total value of the package was "over 5.5 million," added together the various elements are worth about 6.7 million. The stadium suite was valued at 1.5 million.The university's breakdown said his contract was amended in August to include a 3 million career bonus if he retired at the end of the season, the payment that constituted the largest part of the money his estate received Thursday. After Sandusky was arrested, Paterno announced he planned to retire at the season's end, but he then removed as coach by the trustees, who have said a "failure of leadership" on his part contributed to their decision.Mahon said the trustees decided to honor the terms of Paterno's contract as if he had retired at the end of the 2011 season."That contract recognized Coach Paterno's decades-long contributions to our football program and to the entire university," Mahon said.Paterno spent six decades at Penn State and 46 seasons as head coach, winning two national championships and becoming the face of the university.Sandusky is awaiting a June trial on 52 charges for alleged abuse of 10 boys over a 15-year period, allegations he has repeatedly denied. Also charged were athletic director Tim Curley and vice president Gary Schultz, accused of lying to a grand jury and failing to report suspected child abuse. They also await trial and have denied the allegations.The scandal also led to the departure of university president Graham Spanier, who remains a faculty member.
With the NFL facing more PR issues by the day, Randy Moss has identified what he feels is wrong with a league that can’t seem to stay out of trouble.
In wake of the Josh Brown situation, which saw the NFL blame the King County (Wash.) Sheriff’s Office for the lack of initial punishment given to the Giants kicker for domestic violence, Moss said on ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown that commissioner Roger Goodell is the league’s biggest problem.
“[This is] a bad time to show up now, breast cancer awareness month where we’re supporting the women, and then you come up with this Josh Brown, where it doesn’t seem like we are supporting women,” Moss said. “I think the NFL needs to take a deep look. I think the owners are mad, and Roger Goodell, he is the biggest reason to all of this stuff that’s fallen downhill with the NFL. I have to agree with that.”
Brown was initially given a one-game suspension for violating the league’s conduct policy stemming from his 2015 fourth-degree domestic violence charge. On Friday, the 37-year-old was placed on the commissioner’s exempt list.
PITTSBURGH – So far this season, Martellus Bennett and Rob Gronkowski have combined for 39 catches, 644 yards and five touchdowns. Making the numbers that much more impressive is the fact the numbers were rolled up with Gronk inactive for two games and fairly useless in another thanks to his hamstring injury.
Will the Steelers slow the roll of Robellus Grennetski?
Hard to imagine. As Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette points out, Gronk alone has tuned up the Steelers with 26 receptions for 403 yards and seven touchdowns in six meetings.
Fittipaldo explored the strategies the Steelers defense may unveil Sunday afternoon when the Patriots and Steelers get going. He also pointed out that the return of linebacker Ryan Shazier after a three week layoff and injuries for safeties Mike Mitchell and Robert Golden may put Pittsburgh at a disadvantage.
Said Shazier: “They have the tandem they want at tight end. Now they can use tight ends the way they want. You have to respect everyone on the field. Both of them are good blockers, good pass threats and great at running after the catch.”
Steelers defensive coordinator Keith Butler said Pittsburgh will alter its approaches.
“We have to be able to play more than one defense,” Butler said. “They’re very good and they’ll pick you apart if they can figure out what you’re doing. We just have to execute the defense more than anything else. If we can do that … that’s been our problem for the most part. Some of the things that went on last week, we missed some things we should have made mentally.”
What “went on last week” was a 30-15 loss to the Dolphins.
Pittsburgh hasn’t been a big-play group so far -- eight sacks and three picks -- nor have they seen a gauntlet of great quarterbacks in the first six games.
Interestingly, their losses have been to Ryan Tannehill and rookie Carson Wentz, probably the two quarterbacks one would figure Pittsburgh would do best against.
Between a smoking hot Brady and a can’t-be-stopped tight end tandem, there’s probably not a lot Pittsburgh can do aside from hoping for an off day.
Said linebacker Arthur Moats hopefully: “You have to continue to mix it up against (Gronkowski). You can’t give him the same look over and over. He has success on guys like that. If we disrupt him, and rush Brady and speed up his clock, I definitely think that will help out.”
In theory, perhaps. In practice? We’ll see.